Car Insurance and drugs and alcohol

drink driving

Do you know how drinking and drugs impact on car insurance? 

“No claim will be paid if the driver is found to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.” This applies to all private and business vehicle insurance and for the first time the point is now being emphasised by insurance companies and brokers at the point of renewal or quotation.

The UK roll out of roadside drug testing has been criticised recently. The program has had very marked regional variations, with some police forces being far more aggressive in its implementation than neighbouring forces.

No data is yet available for its impact on drivers.

Business drivers and particularly businesses who are dependent on employees driving their vehicles have the double risk of both logistically losing a driver, but also facing having any insurance claim arising from an accident being declined by the insurance company. At this time it is not clear if this would extend to third party claims made against the driver, which may then be pursued personally against the driver and worst case, against the business who, it will be argued, have irresponsibly allowed them to drive a company vehicle whilst under the influence.

It is recommended companies employing drivers take steps to ensure drivers are aware of the law and repercussions for driving with regard to drugs and alcohol. Where appropriate, the introducing of random screening can help both with awareness and with compliance. It also goes some way in allowing a defence against corporate neglect of duty.

The provision of “self-test” single use breath test kits for alcohol, allow drivers to self-regulate when placed in a situation of having had alcohol in the last 8-10 hours (morning after the night before scenario )

Where appropriate, the introducing of random drug and alcohol screening can help both with awareness and with compliance. It also goes some way in allowing a defence against corporate neglect of duty.

Contact UK Drug Testing for drug and alcohol testing kits and for help implementing a screening programme at work.

New police roadside drug testing legislation comes into force in UK

This week saw new rules come into force in the UK which allow the police to perform roadside drug testing on any driver they suspect to be under the influence of drugs. The test will be performed using a saliva drug testing kit which will give an immediate result within minutes. If the driver tests positive for any of the drugs then they will be taken back to the police station for further testing including a blood test.

The new rules are hoped to reduce the number of drug driving incidents, in a similar way that roadside breathalysers have reduced the incidence of drink driving.

The following drugs may now be tested for under the new rules :Cannabis, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamine, Methadone & Benzodiazepines 

Some of these drugs are prescription drugs. The penalties for drug driving are similar to those for drink driving.

Penalties for drug driving include:
Someone convicted of drug driving will get:
-a minimum 1 year driving ban
-a fine of up to £5,000
-up to a year in prison
-a criminal record

The persons driving licence will also show that they have been convicted of drug driving. This will last for 11 years. When re-licenced it may be difficult to get insurance.

Click here to purchase saliva drug testing kits that screen for the same drugs as the new roadside drug testing in UK

Click here for wholesale drug tests 

Advice on choosing workplace drug testing kits for drivers 

Drug Driving Test Kits-changes to UK law to come into force in March 2015

Saliva Drug testing Kit

Saliva Drug Testing Kit

Roadside drug testing kits were last week approved for use by the UK police force to test drivers who they suspect may be under the influence of drugs while driving. The use of roadside saliva drug testing kits, will make it much easier for the police to decide if a driver is under the influence of drugs. 

Previously if the police stopped a driver and suspected they were impaired by drugs they would do a field impairment test which are a series of tests to assess a drivers capability to drive. If the police felt the driver was impaired they would then take them back to a police station and they would perform a blood drug test. Drugs can impair driving in many ways similar to alcohol and the penalties are the same as for drink driving. Some drugs may increase anxiety and aggressive behaviour, and lower concentration  which can also impair driving.

The law is about to change in March 2015 when a new UK law will come into force which will make it easier for the police to test and to prosecute drivers who are under the influence of drugs. Drugs that will be covered under the new law include Cannabis, Cocaine, Ecstasy and Ketamine. The drug driving limits will be very low.

Click here to find out more or to buy drug testing kits online in UK

Here is a link to a pdf with some info about drug driving limits http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/2868/pdfs/uksi_20142868_en.pdf 

Some of the drugs including on the list are prescription drugs.